The Instigator
ThePhilosophersDeduction
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
AdamDeben
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
ThePhilosophersDeduction
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,930 times Debate No: 22084
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

ThePhilosophersDeduction

Con

I would like to debate this LD-Style, so if you accept, you accept all rules of LD-Style debate. You can find them practically anywhere on a debate website, just Google it and I'm sure you'll find them. (In this debate, a Value-Criterion will be necessary).

1st Round For Con: Proposing the Debate
1st Round For Pro: 1st Constructive (Arguments are presented)

2nd Round For Con: 1st Constructive and Rebuttals to Pro
2nd Round For Pro: 1st Rebuttal to Con's case and rebuilding Pros (No new arguments)

3rd Round For Con: Rebuilding Case points and rebuttals (Conclusion)
3rd Round For Pro: Rebuilding Case and rebuttals (Conclusion)

I know this means I get one less round to argue, but it is the LD-Style debate regulation, so note that you get the extra round in this debate.

I look forward to an educational debate.
AdamDeben

Pro

I'd first like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. This will be interesting. Now before we move onto the arguments, we need to establish some definitions here:

Human Right - A right that self-evidently should belong to everyone.

Commodity- any marketable item produced to satisfy needs or needs.

Drinking Water- water that won't make you sick if you drink it

Humans need water to live, and I don't believe you should have to earn/pay for your right to live. However, in the current economic system, water has to be sold or else that would increase unemployment rates and make the economy worse. That's how the world works. But who's to day that's the only way the world works? I propose a resource-based economy, because we have the resources to filter the oceans water and give it to everyone. This would also be helpful to humanity, because the sea levels are rising from melting ice caps and are projected to flood major cities in the future. If you want to learn more about a resource-based economy (which isn't bartering) you can look at one of my debates, google it, or watch a Zeitgeist film. But I won't go on that tangent. So in conclusion of this paragraph, it's both necessary for survival and it's resourcefully feasible, but not fiscally feasible.

Coffee is a commodity. You don't necessarily need coffee to survive. Any specific food is a commodity. But access to food in general should be a human right, as it is fundamental to one's survival. Access to water or at least juiceable fruit is also fundamental to survival. So if we planted fruit trees in Africa, and gave them the tools to juice the fruit, and made the land arable, then that would solve some problems. But one of the things necessary for arable land is water, so why not give them water and the tools to filter it anyway?
Debate Round No. 1
ThePhilosophersDeduction

Con

I would like to thank AdamDeben for accepting this debate, but would like to point out that he did not follow the structure I asked (Value-Criterion). I will allow him to present this Value and Criterion in his next round, but I was looking forward to that kind of debate. I was clear about what I wanted this debate to be able and structured around, but he failed to look it up and take that information into the debate itself.

I would like to present my case before attacking my opponents.

I negate: Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity.

The value I will be upholding in today’s debate is Justice which is the quality of being fair and reasonable. Justice should be valued above all other possible values because when debating commodities, we need to be both fair and reasonable.

My value of justice is supported by the criterion of bettering equality of opportunity. In order to be just, we must be afforded the chance to accomplish the same exact things. Essentially, by allowing situations which would equalize the opportunity in life of all people, we can allow for justice to take place. This must be true for every consumer and processor.

Observations:

Observation 1: The resolution specifies that we discuss ACCESS to drinking water, and not simply the water itself. Access as a noun is what this debate must center upon. Even if the water itself were to be a human right, and be free for all, the access cannot be provided without infrastructure. This necessary infrastructure is very expensive, and access cannot truly be free unless Pro can prove that this access as a human right will provide the necessary infrastructure. If Pro cannot uphold this then they cannot uphold the resolution, because the infrastructure will be paid for, and therefore the access will be a commodity.

To provide for a more clear debate, I feel it is important to offer a few definitions.

1. A human right – defined by The Free Dictionary is any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled and in whose exercise a government may not interfere (including rights to life and liberty as well as freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law).

2. A commodity - defined by Princeton wordnet is an article of commerce, meaning something that is bought and sold.

3. Ought: used to indicate something that is probable (Oxford Dictionary)

Contention 1: Drinking water is not abundant enough for everyone to have an equal share without paying.

According to the United States Geological Survey, about 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered. However of that 70% less than 3% is actually safe for drinking. It is this very reason that we see shortages of water in many impoverished countries in the world, leaving the people without the most basic necessities for survival. We've even seen the need here in the state of Texas with the recent droughts. Drinking water is incredibly important, and the need for it is great. However at the same time, we must realize that many countries simply aren't able to give access to this precious resource to their citizens and they certainly are not able to guarantee it to them as a human right. If these countries hand out the little water they have, they would inevitably take that water away from some-one else, thus violating the rights of other citizens. We also have to take into consideration Riparian rights, in that they are rights that allow you to choose exactly what you can do with the water that is on your property, that water is considered yours if it either runs through or is allocated on your land in any way. Considering this fact, you are taking property away from the more advantaged, which is not just.

Contention 2: Desalination plants can provide the water needed.

Desalination involves removing the salt from water to make it drinkable. Most of the world’s 1,500 or so desalination plants use distillation and flash evaporation as the processes. These methods are expensive, but an exploding world demand for potable water has led to a lot of research and development in this field so this newer process has been developed. The largest existing desalination plant is at Tampa Bay. It costs Tampa Bay Water around $3.50 per 1,000 gallons for water from the desalination plant. Running the power plant is $20 million per year. Conversely, in other parts of the country, river water from the surface-treatment plants cost around $2 per 1,000 gallons, and ground water costs only about $1 per 1,000 gallons. This 3% margin of available drinking water will increase if more money is put into creating and maintaining these desalination plants. Though the plants may be expensive, there is no price on human life, and these plants prove to be able to provide the water needed to sustain life.

Contention 3: Desalination plants need money to maintain and build, the people will pay because it is the only option.

Water is the number one priority to life, therefore there is no reason that one would refuse to pay for it unless they are presented with an unfair price. Even those in third world countries have money, and would buy water before any other marketed item. Given the opportunity to buy clothing, a car, an item for entertainment, or water that is the number one reason you are alive today, people will choose water. It may take millions of dollars to build and maintain these desalination plants, but the simple fact is, there are around 7 billion people living on the planet. The government is unable to fund for the access to water because simply enough, in the long term they do not have the money sufficient enough to provide for all people equally. They may be able to fund for about a week, but after that, they will run out of money, and the plants will shut down.


Now onto Pros case:

1. Pro says that "in the current economic system, water has to be sold or else that would increase unemployment rates and make the economy worse." To this I would agree in the sense that our economy would worsen beyond all belief if water was just given out.

2. Pro says that "we have the resources to filter the oceans water and give it to everyone." However, I would like to see some evidence on this claim. There is no sufficient evidence provided by Pro that we have the resources to filter the ocean's water and give it to "everyone." I would also like to point out my observation again. You can cross apply it here because in this resolution it states "access" to drinking water. The "access" includes the infrastructure needed to get the water, transport the water, filter the water, etc. If Pro can prove that it is possible to make every single step from finding the water to handing it out can be free, only then can he win the debate, otherwise is defaults Con.

3. Pro states: "the sea levels are rising from melting ice caps and are projected to flood major cities in the future." I would like to concede to this fact, but negate it's usefulness in this debate. As I stated above, unless the filtering, transportation and hand-out of this water is completely free, it does not matter how much there is, or will be. Yes, the ice-caps are melting. But no, it does not matter because unless we can make the infrastructure free, there is no way we can prevent this flooding by means of giving this water out.

4. We will drop anything Pro said about coffee, or food, or fruit trees because the resolution states "drinking water" not any of what Pro has mentioned. Pro also says that "one of the things necessary for arable land is water, so why not give them water and the tools to filter it anyway?" yet again, cross apply my argument about the "access" to drinking water (being the infrastructure) having to be free for the vote to go to Pro.

For all of these reason please vote Negative in today’s debate.
AdamDeben

Pro

I'm done here. This debate will not allow the less-relevant tangent of me explaining a resource-based economy and how access is both feasible and neccessary for humans on this planet. "Money is not needed" is a very bold statement, and is immediately associated with naivete, as it is how the world "works." But who's to say it's the only way it can work? In fact it's not and it doesn't work. It's dysfunctional.
And begging for votes at the end of the argument? Formal debates are more personal; about the corrupt greed of just winning, rather than just defending the case so the audience can take notes and create informed opinions off of it. I couldn't care less if you liked me or not.

So now I forfeit from this debate. Vote for CON, I don't care. I'm not trying to be heroic, inspirational, or anything; just vote for CON. I scientifically know PRO is justified, but peoples' faith in capitalism on this site is too strong. I could've defended my case, but it's no use, recognizing the paterns of cultural bias from my experience on this site. If this topic was more relevant to Economics so that I could argue the feasibility of a Resource-Based Economy, I'd continue. If you wanna learn more about my position on economics, read one of my other debates or just google The Zeitgeist Movement. And don't base your vote on what I'm saying here when you go to my other debate; it loses the debate's purpose of arguing the strengths and weaknesses of the points. Peace.

BTW: There are methods other than desalination, if you want to look into it. And no, my proposed economic system is not communism. Until you clear that from your head, you're gonna be wrong about it.
Debate Round No. 2
ThePhilosophersDeduction

Con

Pro Forfeited due to not thinking he is allotted certain arguments. Pro could have taken out my observation, thus destroying my rebuttals, but he did not and decided to just forfeit, losing the chance to argue his points and give these "informed opinions" to the voters.

Thank you for at least accepting this debate, I learned some from your forfeit, but the argument that there was no ground for you was false. This is supposed to be a Lincoln-Douglass style debate, and allows you any arguments under the condition that you take out my own. If you had worked on your case more than just a couple paragraphs, it would have been strong enough for you do defend effectively.

For all of these reasons, please vote Con in today's debate.
AdamDeben

Pro

I don't know how to register my forfeit. Consider that a personal flaw of me being a 'noob'.

So, bye.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by ThePhilosophersDeduction 4 years ago
ThePhilosophersDeduction
I feel like it'll be a disadvantage because you've seen my case already. I think I'll wait and write a new one for later.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Challenge me to it. I'll gladly accept.
Posted by ThePhilosophersDeduction 4 years ago
ThePhilosophersDeduction
I'll make another round, same debate, same guidelines.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
That TheDiabolicDebater said.
Also, I would be interested in debating this, if someone wanted to make another round.
Posted by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
I wouldn't call it "begging" for a win. Like Con said, it's just a habit. In a real debate, the judge can't keep track of everything that is said during a round, so it's necessary for the debaters to sum up the round and provide reasons why they won.
Posted by ThePhilosophersDeduction 4 years ago
ThePhilosophersDeduction
It is just a "habit" if you may. It's necessary to prove to your voters that you have provided reasons as to why they should vote for you.
Posted by AdamDeben 4 years ago
AdamDeben
Again with the begging for wins... It should be self-evident that you deserve it. You shouldn't HAVE TO ask.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
ThePhilosophersDeductionAdamDebenTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
ThePhilosophersDeductionAdamDebenTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
ThePhilosophersDeductionAdamDebenTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited.